We all have kids in our direct environment who are completely addicted to FORTNITE.
Doesn’t it ever make you wonder 🧠?
Young people nowadays have a very short attention span and are bored of things very quickly, while they can play this game for days. We complain that players never play 🏀 outside like we spent our childhood.
Before you think I’m thàt old, we also had video games. We had Super Mario on our Nintendo game console. But never was it that addictive, and I think to know why.
What’s the secret of Fortnite and what can we learn from it?
Fortnite is a short game where in realtime 100 players are dropped on an island where the goal is to kill everybody else till you are the last survivor. Whenever you’re dead, you can start a new game. Every game is different because you play against 99 different players who will make different choices and use different tactics. And every couple of weeks, Fortnite changes the “environment”, the looks of the island. Trust me, I know 8 year olds that BEG their dad to start downloading this new update at 10AM upon the worldwide release so they can immedtiately start playing after school!
Isn’t it possible that our practices look too much like Super Mario back in the days?
Super Mario is a game with different levels. Once you complete a level, you go on to the next one. If you’re out, you start over in the SAME level. And then I mean exactly the same: where the same mushroom 🍄 and bomb 💣 appears around the same corner at the exact same moment. It was never as addictive as Fortnite, since in every level making the same decision wasn’t a challenge. You knew exactly what was coming. Whenever you finished the game till the very last level, there was no challenge to start over. Booooring!
Let’s make things more concrete. Let’s talk about a fastbreak drill that everybody knows: the classic 11-man drill to practice full-court 3on2 situations. I know coaches who stick to this drill to practice “fastbreak situations” over the span of several seasons. Let me tell you why it reminds me of the Super Mario game:
1) It is not gamelike. How many times during your playing career did you run the floor in three lines where two defenders were waiting for you in a stance in the bucket? I must say that it never ever happened to me in a real game.
2) The drill is like one level in Super Mario: once you found the key 🔑 to beat the tandem defense, there’s not much decision making in running it over and over again. Where’s the challenge? Quite boring, no?
I am convinced that basketball is one of the most complex sports there is. In the classic 11-man drill, we run one single situation (that never occurs in a real game by the way) over and over again. Being a coach, it is impossible to prepare our players for every single situation that can occur during the game. We can only teach them a better DECISION MAKING on the court, to prepare them for inevitable new situations that pop up during games.
Therefore, our drills should have some characteristics of Fortnite:
1) The situation we practice should be reallife (=gamelike)
2) Every repetition should involve a different DECISION MAKING. This makes the drill a challenge, improves our game and keeps the fun level high. The situation is never exactly the same, just like in games.
3) Every once in a while, we should upload a different environment to our players, change the setting and looks of the drill!
Sounds good, right?
Maybe you think this is easily said, but you wonder how it should look like in your drills?
In this video I show you how you can pimp your classic 11-man drill with these Fortnite characteristics:
Try it out, let’s see how hooked up your players will be on your practices!
And let me know how it works out for you!
I think about sharing more drills and practice settings with you in the future.
Finally, on a personal level, I can tell you that over the last couple of weeks, I have been in contact with some interested clubs. But so far, I did not find the right fit for me at this important crossroads in my career.
That means that for upcoming season I’m still available for a new challenge! 🔥
You’ll hear from me soon with some more content!